Pakistan’s poultry industry is expanding at a steady pace since the past few decades.
It has not only become a large industry of the country’s economy but also a major source of white meat and protein for an average household.
Growing at a rate of 12% with an annual turnover of around Rs700 billion – according to statistics compiled by Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA) – the sector provides direct and indirect employment to around 1.5 million people. At present, over 190 billion rupees worth of agricultural products and by products are being used in poultry feeds. Currently, the sector is contributing 1.5% to gross domestic product of the country.
Experts believe that the rise of poultry products is a result of increased price phenomena of other meat such as mutton and beef, which a decade ago was available at much cheaper rates.
“About 5 million broiler chickens are slaughtered in the country every day, and this figure is likely to increase as prices of mutton and beef are becoming unaffordable for an average Pakistani,” said PPA Chairman of North Zone Raza Mehmood Khursand, while speaking to The Express Tribune.
He further said that currently 40% of the total meat consumption is from the poultry sector as it is relatively cheaper. Since 1962, this industry is slowly and gradually gaining momentum and currently has reached its peak with further potential to grow.
There are over 25,000 poultry farms spread into the rural areas across the country. The sector is producing 1,220 million kilogrammes (kg) of chicken meat and some 10,000 million eggs annually.
According to PPA, the per capita consumption of meat is only 6.5kg and 65-70 eggs in Pakistan, whereas in developed countries, public consumes about 40kg of meat and over 300 eggs.
Previously, chicken prices were not fixed by the government but since the past few years the price has been monitored by city district governments, which according to Khursand, is market interference. The price fluctuation was observed according to demand and supply formula. Government interference though price stabilisation disturbs the poultry industry in the long run. The level of investment in the sector is decreasing due to government intervention, he added.
The poultry shed investments in Pakistan ranges from Rs20 million up to Rs2 billion, which accommodates 5,000 to 500,000 broilers. Majority of the farms are now adopting modern techniques of environment
control houses and the industry is shifting from traditional conventional open houses to semi-completed automated houses where the intensive rearing is done under one roof.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2014.
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